A/N: Hello everyone! So final chapter, wow what a journey! Not sure whether I'm completely happy with the first three parts of this but it's difficult writing a final chapter for a story, especially for one as emotional as this! When I wrote this there were several things I wanted to cover and have happen with certain characters so I apologise if it appears to be a bit random for some people, all the paragraphs aside from the last one happen in the first four days and I believe they're quite important as we learn a lot of important things about Fíli.
I just want to say thank you for sticking with me on what was a roller coaster of emotions, I knew what I wanted to happen right from the beginning but writing it was a whole other ball game entirely, talk about emotionally draining! O.o So well done for sticking with it!
I have also been thinking about doing an alternate ending, only if it's something you'd like to see! So if you do let me know :)
A HUGE thank you and special shout out to ACreativeHobbit, Chantel92, ChiaraGiuny, GemDragon22, Gryffbaby, Hathien Elebriwien, I'mLostButI'mNeverLonely, Kirdian05, KungFuSchildi, Lakota1172, Obi-wan's girl forever, Silhouettes of Starlight, SineNominae, StarlessGalaxies, lucy62, Wraven, overlorded, sweetstrikeX, yshxf as well as the new favouriter dark isn't necessarily evil. Thanks for all your amazing comments and encouragement! You guys are amazing!
Once again thank you for reading!
The soundtrack for first four paragraphs is Coldplay's "Fix You" paragraph five is Sam Smiths "Stay With Me" (The chorus especially when they're walking away) and the last paragraph is Kingsfoil from the DOS soundtrack again :')
Now! Onto continuing to write In Our Time Apart! :)
As much as it breaks my heart I do not own the writings or the characters of The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings, they are the wonderful and exclusive workings of J.R.R Tolkien
Kíli had been allowed to lay with Fíli until he was cold, after that Balin and Dwalin had gently removed him from the bed. Kíli had been too exhausted to put up a fight but it didn't stop him from crying out for his brother as they led him from the room for the last time.
No one had spoken a word the whole drive home, too devastated from having to say goodbye, and the moment the front door was unlocked Kíli ran up the stairs and locked himself in Fíli's room.
"You can stay the night, if you like." Thorin said quietly to his two friends, who read his meaning underneath: please don't leave.
Kíli stood in the middle of Fíli's dimly lit room and looked around with tears in his eyes. Everything was as he remembered; bed made messily with Fíli's laptop on top, easel in the corner with canvases surrounding it, camera on the desk, pictures and drawings tacked to the walls and various pieces of clothing scattered around the room. It had been a couple of weeks since he'd set foot in the room, too busy with his new friends and training to bother to stop by and see what his brother was doing, and now he'd never get the chance to watch his brother create something breath taking again.
He walked forward and sat on the edge of Fíli's bed, fingers clenching the fabric beneath them as he looked around the room and pictured his brother moving about the room as he worked, talking rapidly about his latest project with a smile on his face. Kíli blinked away a tear as his fingers collided with something solid. He looked down and spotted Fíli's art book lying there near the closed laptop; it was as though Fíli had been working and left in the middle of whatever he was doing the night before. It was then that Kíli realised that that was exactly what had happened.
Fíli had gone to get him.
With a broken sob Kíli scooped up the drawing pad and hugged it to his chest, hunching over as he allowed the tears that should have run out by now to flow free. He threw himself on the bed and buried his face in Fíli's pillow, allowing his brothers scent to flow through him as his body trembled with his grief.
Eventually Kíli's breathing evened out and he lay there quietly, his breath hitching occasionally and eyes blotchy from the many tears that had left him over the last few days. His fingers were aching from clutching the sketch pad so tightly that he set it down on the bed, flexing his fingers before trailing them across the cover lightly.
Despite the grief Kíli was curious; he'd never looked inside his brothers sketch book before. He sat up on the bed and pulled on Fíli's hoodie that had been dumped unceremoniously in the middle of the mattress before opening to the first page.
There was no drawing, or painting, not even a photograph. Instead the front page only had two beautifully written words.
Kíli frowned in confusion. The book that Fíli never let out of his sight, that he was always working on in his spare time, it was for him?
Kíli turned to the second page and felt his breath catch in his throat. It was a drawing of their parents on their wedding day, something he had only seen pictures of as he'd been a baby at the time. But there was an added addition to the drawing, it was him being held by their mother and Fíli on their father's hip, all four of them waving. Dís looked as beautiful as he remembered; her chocolate locks cascading down her shoulders with a flower crown resting on her head, and the soft light behind them all made it look as though they were glowing. Kíli trailed his fingertips over the drawing in awe at what his brother had recreated.
Every page was a beautiful drawing or painting about him or their parents; Kíli learning to ride a bike, Kíli running with a rugby ball tucked under his arm, Kíli on their fathers lap reading together, Fíli showing Kíli how to build a sandcastle, Kíli wearing an oversized shirt whilst Dís hung up the washing, Kíli cuddled up with the kitten Pickles. Kíli was in awe over every drawing he laid eyes on, it was as though Fíli had randomly plucked moments out of time and eternalised them on paper, just for him.
The last drawing in the book had a sheet of paper attached to the bottom with a note from Fíli. Kíli stifled a sob as he looked at the drawing that had been taped into place. It was a double page drawing set at night with the two of them when they were younger. A fire was crackling in the background, the room that had been drawn bathed in a soft light from the fire. Fíli and Kíli were on the floor in front of the fire place, Kíli curled up in Fíli's lap as Fíli read to him with his arms wrapped tightly around the brunet.
Kíli bit his lip as he studied the picture, ensuring no stray tears fell onto the page and smudged the colours. He looked at the note underneath to read what his brother had written to him.
Happy birthday Kee. I know we didn't get a lot of family pictures growing up but I thought this might be a nice substitute, and I think there's something nicer about having them drawn, makes them more personal y'know?
Anyway I just wanted you to know how proud I am of you. You're growing up to be an incredible person and I wanted to tell you that you are the best little brother I could have ever asked for.
No matter where I go, no matter the distance,
You will always be in my heart.
Love you Kee
Kíli squeezed his eyes shut against the fresh wave of tears, breathing heavily through his nose as he tried to calm his heart. It was as though Fíli had expected something to happen, expected to leave before Kíli's birthday and this was his way to say he was still looking out for him. Kíli couldn't help but smile softly at the photo as his bottom lip trembled; Fíli had found a way to make sure he was never alone, and had given his own goodbye.
He folded the letter back into the book and closed it gently, and as he buried his face in the pillow once more and cried himself to sleep, hugging the book to his chest for it was a treasure that he would never part from.
The day after they switched Fíli's life support off Dwalin had gone into work to tell his boss he'd be taking time off, that he'd just lost the closest thing to a son he had and he needed some time. His boss had been horrified to learn Fíli had passed away, fond of the friendly yet quiet blond who helped design patterns for cars and even tattoos in his spare time. Thankful that his boss was a compassionate being Dwalin climbed back into his pickup and headed back home. On the way he noticed a familiar figure walking towards the park, a bag slung over his hunched shoulders and a black hoodie wrapped around him for comfort.
Dwalin pulled into the parking lot at the park and hurried over.
"Kíli!" He called, jogging to catch up with the brunet who quickened his pace without turning back.
"Kíli hold up!"
He placed a hand on Kíli's shoulder and spun him round, his heart falling at the bloodshot eyes that locked with his own.
"Oh lad…" Dwalin said softly as he led the sobbing brunet to an empty bench.
"I can't stay Dwalin!" Kíli whimpered as he avoided Dwalin's eyes.
"What happened lad?" Dwalin asked, concern flooding his voice.
"Thorin! He- I just- Argh!" Kíli screamed in frustration as he pulled at his hair.
Dwalin's eyes widened in alarm and he pried Kíli's hands from his hair and held them in his own. "What about yer Uncle kiddo?"
"Every time I l-look at him I just want to- I can't forgive him for what he did to F-Fíli! I know he r-regrets it but I just w-want to hit him so b-bloody h-hard!" Kíli burst into renewed tears.
"I t-thought I'd be o-ok y'know?" he gasped out, "b-but it hurts D-Dwalin, w-why does it h-hurt so m-much?"
"Yer just lost your brother lad, yer other half. Nobody expects yer to be ok straight away. It's ok to grieve." Dwalin said soothingly as he wrapped Kíli in a hug.
"I know it's hard right now, but blaming yer Uncle and yerself won't change anything, no matter how much you might wish it could. Him, me, Balin, we're the only family you have left. We have to stick together; it's what Fíli would want."
Kíli clutched onto Dwalin's arm as he tried to regain some control. "Iwannatattoo" he eventually mumbled into Dwalin's shirt.
"What was that lad?"
Kíli sat up straighter and took a deep breath. "I want a tattoo Dwalin." He said determinedly, the occasional stray tear still trickling down his face.
"Lad I don't think-"
"Dwalin," Kíli said angrily, a fire in his bloodshot eyes. "I Want. A Tattoo. If you don't help me get one then I will find someone who brought a tattoo gun online and I'll get them to do it."
Confused at the sudden change in topic and demeanour but not wanting Kíli to put himself at risk with an unsterile artist Dwalin sighed as he looked Kíli up and down, and deciding he was completely serious he nodded wearily.
"Aye lad. I'll take yer to get a tattoo done."
After much bargaining and discussion Kíli walked out of the tattoo parlour with Fíli's name tattooed over his heart, a sword above it to show bravery and a warrior's spirit, and a Celtic knot beneath to symbolise their bond as brothers.
Dwalin had dropped Kíli off home and returned an hour later with a bag packed after collecting a few items from his own place at Thorin's request. He walked in to find Kíli had dyed a large strip of hair on the left side of his head blond, so that when it hung down it would lay directly over his heart. Thorin hadn't been too pleased about it or the tattoo but didn't say anything; it was Kíli's way of honouring his brother and he wouldn't deny him that.
Balin had called the school the evening after Fíli had passed away to tell them what had happened, and that aside from collecting his brothers belongings from the school Kíli wouldn't be going back for the foreseeable future.
The principle of the school, a friendly yet stern man by the name of Bofur who was loved by all the students was horrified at the news; he'd always had a soft spot for the blond, talking to him often about new art ideas for the school, brainstorming ideas for the end of year book and even supporting and encouraging him to put his name forward for well-known photography and art companies.
"I'm so sorry," Bofur said over the phone, "please extend my condolences to your family."
"I will," Balin assured him "Fíli spoke often of your conversations for his art projects. You were a good friend of his."
"Thank you," Bofur said quietly, touched to think the normally quiet blond had considered him a friend. "I'll make an announcement to the students tomorrow."
Kíli, Thorin, Balin and Dwalin all went to the school the next day to collect Fíli's belongings. Bofur and Bifur; the vice principle and Bofur's cousin met them at the gate, sombre expressions on their normally cheerful faces.
"Oh lad," Bofur said quietly to Kíli "I'm so sorry for your loss. Your brother was a wonderful person and we're all going to miss him terribly."
Kíli gave Bofur a weak smile before they all followed Bofur and Bifur to an office where all of Fíli's belongings had been taken to. Kíli was confused when Bofur changed course to the school's auditorium, and felt his mouth go dry when he saw why they were there. All the students from the school were gathered outside, a lit candle in their hands and watching them quietly. A huge memorial to Fíli had been set up against one of the walls; flowers, candles, photos and notes had been left there for the blond. Kíli's lip quivered as he stepped forward and crouched down in front of the memorial.
Kíli had always had the impression that his brother spent a lot of time alone, that he hadn't had many friends at the school and that because Fíli was shy it had led to some nasty rumours about his brother no matter how badly Kíli had tried to change them. But with each letter he read Kíli realised then that there was so much about his brother he had never known; like how Fíli was the one who always took the photos for the school and end of year books (they never ceased to be beautiful), designed posters and signs for the school's sports and drama groups and had designed the murals that had recently been put up around the school.
It was there he learnt that every photo, every piece of art his brother had taken or made was signed with F.D. He had initialled all his art as Fíli Durin, not Fíli Oakenshield despite Thorin changing their last name so many years ago; it was how Fíli had kept his involvement secret the whole time.
But it wasn't the artistic side of his brother that stood out; it was how caring he had been for so many students. Many letters spoke of how Fíli had helped them out in many aspects of their lives; he was a shoulder to lean on for students who were having a hard time, he offered advice when a student didn't know who to talk to and he looked after students who were struggling academically despite his own disability. Without people knowing Fíli had looked after so many students quietly and it seemed that although those same people insulted him out loud, secretly he was considered a friend by many.
And it was clear all of them regretted never telling him so.
They had collected Fíli's belongings and left quietly, but not before handing over a USB full of the pictures and videos Fíli had been planning on using for the school. It was when he was getting those off Fíli's laptop that Kíli had found a video his brother had been putting together for him, another birthday present it appeared yet this time it had a voice over; a permanent way for him to hear Fíli's voice for the rest of his life.
That had once again put Kíli in tears, but after playing it several times he placed it on his own laptop, and every night for the rest of his life before he went to sleep Kíli would watch it, knowing that somewhere his brother was watching over him.
The funeral took place four days after Fíli had died; giving them the chance to arrange everything and notify everyone important. It took place outside, just before sunset with all their neighbours and family friends gathered to say their final farewells. Thorin had kept it simple yet elegant as the one thing he knew about his nephew was that he had always appreciated the simpler things in life. Everyone had a story about Fíli; how he had helped design and paint all of the kids rooms in the street, how he was always helping Mrs Cotton, one of their elderly neighbours with her garden or general chores or how he was at Tauriel's and Bard's house every week baking and helping make toys or pictures for the children's ward at the hospital.
Kíli was once again learning that there was more to his brother than he had imagined, and it made him wish more than anything that he'd taken more time to talk to his brother than what he had. Eventually it was Thorin's turn to speak. He'd spent the last day agonising over whether he should deliver a speech or not; he wanted to, but he had no idea how Kíli would react. Eventually Dwalin had grabbed his shoulder and told him sternly, "this is your last chance to say goodbye. Don't lie, don't be extravagant, just tell him your sorry."
So that's what Thorin did. He stood up and moved to the front and took a deep breath, sneaking a glance Kíli's tear stained face before speaking.
"I was never a great Uncle to Fíli," he began. "Instead of loving him as my own son like I should have done I blamed and punished him for something he had no control over. Never have I acted more wrong. I have learnt more about Fíli over the last few days than I have since I've known him; I've learnt about the kind, generous and loving person he was despite the many hardships he's experienced throughout his life. And no matter how much he's struggled, or thought badly of himself, if I know one thing for sure, more than anything in my life it's that Fíli loved his little brother with every fibre of his being. Kíli was his world, and he would always put his brother before himself just as he has done for so many here. This is a trait, along with so many others I overlooked. If I had just stopped and looked at him I would have seen what a kind and incredible person he was becoming. The night Fíli died I had some sense knocked into me, and when I finally realised what I had done wrong it was too late. I will never get the chance to make it up to Fíli, to tell him I'm sorry and repair our broken relationship. But I urge each and every one of you to go home tonight and remind those important to you that you love them because you may not get a second chance. I made that mistake; don't let yourselves follow in my footsteps."
Thorin sat down quietly, avoiding eye contact with anyone. He had admitted his biggest failure and he prayed it was something he could one day redeem himself for. After a pause Kíli took a deep breath and stood up, making his way slowly to the microphone as he ran his fingertips over the coffin lightly. He wet his lips before speaking, his voice wavering slightly as he did so.
"How does one say goodbye? How does one say goodbye to their childhood hero, their slayer of bad dreams, their constant sunlight, their best friend, their brother? I've been asking myself this question since finding out I had lost him forever. Does time make it easier? Does it heal a broken heart? There has always been a constant in my life, and that was Fíli. But now he's not here anymore I have to learn to go on, I have to find my own way in life knowing that he is no longer at my side." Kíli sniffed and wiped away the tears in his eyes. He looked up to find everyone looking back at him, tears falling down all their faces.
"I love you Fee, and I hope wherever you in amongst the stars you will always know that. You are my guiding light, and I will never forget you."
Fíli's coffin was adorned with flowers before it was lowered, only Kíli, Thorin, Balin and Dwalin stayed to see it at their request. Kíli pressed a kiss to his hand before placing it on the tombstone, letting his hand linger momentarily before Thorin wrapped an arm around his shoulders and led the way from the graveyard, the freshly covered grave and the tombstone with a message the only indication to where Kíli's heart had been buried.
A hero, a helper, a warrior.
My idol, my sun, my best friend,
15 years later
"Come on sweetheart."
"He's outside baby, let's go see him yeah?"
Rose took her daughters hand and led her out onto the porch. For a two and a half year old Dís was developing an independent streak a mile wide which was both endearing and infuriating at the same time. Thankfully she was happy for her mother to lead her outside for the time being; it probably had something to do with the fact it was night as Dís, although independent, was still afraid of the dark.
Rose knew exactly where to find her loving husband as although they were living in the country which had plenty of places to hide; Kíli's favourite spot was the large oak tree off to the side of the house.
She led Dís down the stairs and across the yard, looking up at the stars as she went. Since meeting Kíli ten years ago on their OE's in Europe this day every year was a sombre one for the normally bubbly brunet with the streak of blond in his hair. Eventually she had learnt that his older brother had been killed by a car when Kíli was thirteen. At first he would go quiet every time she tried to get him to open up about him, but after they had been together for three years she reminded Kíli that his brother deserved more than being kept a secret, that he was a part of Kíli and talking about him kept him alive.
Kíli hadn't held back any details after that; he showed her the video he watched every night, the pictures Fíli had drawn (and that Kíli had had scanned then framed, the original book kept safe in his office) the photos that he had taken; anything his brother had done Kíli had shared. And Fíli's story. Kíli didn't leave a single detail out about his brother, including Thorin's treatment of him and how he died.
When Rose first found out she struggled to understand how the kind and caring man who she had come to love as a second father could have treated a child in such a way. But Kíli helped her work past it; he had laid any blame he held against Thorin to rest a long time ago, after all he didn't have a lot of family left and he didn't want to push away those he did have.
Thorin had sat down with Rose when he learned that she knew and she came away with a new understanding of her second father; he had had a hard time moving past his grief of the death of his sister, and instead of dealing with it he placed the blame on Fíli. It wasn't right and it was something he regretted every day since, but all he could hope to do was to live the rest of his life in honour of his nephew.
Rose heard Kíli humming softly as they appeared around the tree. Kíli had made a nest of pillows and blankets against the base of the trunk and was snuggled into it, leaning back as he gazed up at the stars.
Rose's lips twitched up into a small smile as she recognised the tune, the Misty Mountains, a song Kíli's mother used to sing to him when he was little and something he asked Thorin to teach him when Rose got pregnant.
The small bundle on Kíli's chest shifted slightly and Kíli ran his hand gently over it to help settle it.
"Shh Fíli, its ok baby daddy's here." Kíli murmured softly, planting a soft kiss on the golden curls on the baby's forehead.
Fíli squirmed again until he had buried his face in his father's neck, letting out a little sigh as he dropped off to sleep once more. Kíli rested his head against Fíli's swaying gently as he listened to his son's steady breathing. At three months old Fíli was already the spitting image of his predecessor; blond hair, blue eyes and adorable smiles when he could manage. He was very much Kíli's baby however, always seeking his father out when he was in the room and preferred to be put to sleep by Kíli rather than Rose, not that she minded though as she knew her husband needed this Fíli to ease the pain of losing his own.
"Hey," Rose whispered softly, running her hand through her daughter's hair as Dís snuck forward to cuddle into her father's side.
"Hello my darlings" Kíli whispered as he pressed a kiss to Dís' hair before grinning up at his wife.
"What are you doing out here daddy?" Dís asked quietly. She knew she had to keep quiet whenever Fíli was asleep, mama and daddy had told her so.
"I'm saying hello to Fíli." Kíli said, smiling down at his daughter.
"Fíli's here daddy," Dís said with a giggle as she patted her brothers blond curls.
"I know sweetheart. But you see daddy had a brother named Fíli, just like you."
"Like me?" Dís asked excitedly. "Was he your baby brother? Like my Fíli?"
Kíli laughed, "No my sweet, I was his baby brother."
"Oh," Dís said with a small thoughtful frown "Where is he now?"
Kíli pointed at the stars with his free hand "He's up there, somewhere" He said softly.
"Why's he there?"
Kíli couldn't help but smirk in amusement at his wife: children, always straight to the point.
"Well," he said slowly as he ran a hand over Fíli's head "because they needed his help. They needed someone loving and friendly and kind to help look after everyone up there and he was the best person for it." Despite the years that had passed Kíli felt his throat seize up slightly at the thought of his brother.
"Is he coming back Daddy?" Dís asked quietly, cutting through his thoughts.
"No sweetheart he's not." Kíli said sadly "He's waiting up there for me to join him one day."
"I'm sorry daddy" Dís said quietly, wrapping her small arms around her father as much as possible.
"It's ok baby." Kíli said, smiling down at her. She had Fíli's personality, kind and caring, always concerned about others. It hurt to think that his brother would never have a chance to meet his children, or they him. Seeing a shooting star however gave Kíli an idea.
"Did you know your Uncle Fíli was a hero?" He asked his daughter quietly.
Dís' eyes widened as she shook her head.
"Would you like me to tell you a story about him?"
Dís nodded eagerly, going willingly when Rose picked her up to sit in her lap so she herself could cuddle up to her husband and be near her son.
"Well," Kíli began to his little family as he looked up at the stars
"Once upon a time there was a boy named Fíli..."